Colby Rasmus has been benched.

The signs started last week, when he missed a couple of games with an alleged illness. And on Tuesday, Toronto Blue Jays manager John Gibbons called Rasmus into his office and made it official.

“I’ll be playing whenever they think I should play and I’m just going to be sitting around watching these rookies play,” Rasmus said in an interview in the visitors’ clubhouse Wednesday.

Rasmus has been Toronto’s regular centre-fielder for the past three years. After delivering his best season as a Blue Jay last year, he has endured a season-long slump and a long injury layoff in 2014. Entering Wednesday’s action, he was batting .225 with 16 homers, a .726 OPS and 116 strikeouts in 362 plate appearances.

A left-handed batter, Rasmus was on the bench Tuesday when the Rays started a right-hander. He was not in the lineup against right-hander Chris Archer for Wednesday night’s game. Kevin Pillar, a righty, started Tuesday and Anthony Gose, a lefty, started Wednesday. Both have appeared with the Jays during several callups over the past two seasons.

Rasmus, 28, is a free agent after the season. He said Gibbons made it clear his reduced playing time was a front-office decision.